Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Time to Lighten Up

  • Please log in to reply
29 replies to this topic

#1 Gork

Gork

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 01 November 2023 - 05:13 AM

I recently relocated to a new house that happens to be closer to town (Tucson, AZ) because of my age and health. Among other things, this move signaled the need for a smaller scope and mount. After years of multiple telescope designs and exotic mounts, I am now officially an “old guy” with a combination of hardware suitable to last until I become that well known computer geek enjoying what everybody else was doing while munching my pizza in my warm recliner watching YouTubers that were still “doing” and not just “watching”.

Click here to view the article
  • Ron359 likes this

#2 Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • ****-
  • Posts: 5,354
  • Joined: 17 Sep 2004
  • Loc: Scottsdale, AZ

Posted 01 November 2023 - 10:06 AM

Thanks Pat! Always enjoy your articles. Great images!

 

I too pride myself in getting the most out of my rigs at reasonable costs, only difference is that I play in the EAA space versus AP.

 

Short exposures, no post processing.

 

There has been a recent trend to add filter wheels and narrowband multi-wavelength 'live' stacking to some folks EAA workflow and has changed the feel of the pursuit IMO.

 

My setup (for widefield) amounts to an ED doublet (AT80ED), cooled mid range camera (asi294mc-pro), multipass filter (optolog 1.25" L-pro) and lightweight mount (SW az-gti), I'm guessing the whole rig is a bit under $2k.

 

For planetary lucky imaging, I swap with a C6/asi678/uv-ir on the same mount.

 

While not the best out there, if measured in cost/benefit terms I think I have captured > 80% at a cost of < 20% of comparable rigs.

 

Here is a link to some of my latest stuff:

 

https://www.cloudyni...oon/?p=13037657

 

Cheers,

 

 

Bob


  • flyboyu777, Mark Lovik, rwoodin3 and 1 other like this

#3 Lazier

Lazier

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 20
  • Joined: 27 Jun 2022
  • Loc: Omaha

Posted 01 November 2023 - 10:46 AM

Pat,
Always enjoy seeing your images.
Enjoy the new town and the new rig.
Good Hunting


  • Bob Campbell likes this

#4 aman125

aman125

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 09 Mar 2013
  • Loc: MD, USA

Posted 01 November 2023 - 02:10 PM

Thanks Pat!  Great piece and great photos.  I (we, if I may) profit from you sharing these insights.


  • Bob Campbell likes this

#5 Jon_Doh

Jon_Doh

    Gemini

  • -----
  • Posts: 3,195
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2011
  • Loc: Just South of Pluto

Posted 02 November 2023 - 09:34 AM

Good stuff.  Thanks for the article.  As a member of your "Old Timers Club" my perfect setup would go one step further and let me control the imaging scope while sitting in the warmth of my house enjoying my favorite beverage  :)


  • Bob Campbell and RichInLesta like this

#6 OneSky

OneSky

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 225
  • Joined: 19 Mar 2023
  • Loc: Southern California

Posted 02 November 2023 - 05:52 PM

Good stuff.  Thanks for the article.  As a member of your "Old Timers Club" my perfect setup would go one step further and let me control the imaging scope while sitting in the warmth of my house enjoying my favorite beverage  smile.gif

 

As you can see in my signature, I also have a lightweight imaging/EAA rig based on my AZ-GTi (with wedge) and the ZWO ecosystem. Normally, I'd connect my iPhone or iPad directly to the ASIAirPlus wifi. But if I set the ASIAirPlus to connect in "Station Mode" to my home wifi--and since my iPhone/iPad by default is already connected to my home wifi--I can now not only control the imaging/EAA through my home wifi, but I can watch the images on my (indoor) flatscreen TV. This is done by initiating screen mirroring on Apple devices. If you have a fairly modern flatscreen with Apple's AirPlay capability, when you initiate mirroring, you'll see your flatscreen as an option. I have a 5 year-old Samsung and a 1 year-old LG TV, and both have AirPlay. Of course, this is a great feature for sharing your cellphone selfies on your 60" screen, but it's also great for stargazing. I've not only done this for my own enjoyment, but also when family or friends are over who want to stargaze but don't want to expose themselves to the weather (or mosquitoes). Of course, in this setup, EAA is more interesting than astrophotography; in the latter, you just see the same exposure over and over again, whereas in EAA, you see the galaxy, nebula, or cluster morph over time with live stacking. The only caveat here is not to get too comfortable; if the mount has to do a meridian flip, I go outside and make sure it goes smoothly. Also, I monitor the cloud situation from time-to-time.

One other thing is, this also tends to require a higher quality mesh wifi router system.


Edited by OneSky, 02 November 2023 - 05:56 PM.

  • Bob Campbell, Ron359, dpo and 3 others like this

#7 gene 4181

gene 4181

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,223
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2013
  • Loc: n.e. ohio

Posted 03 November 2023 - 08:28 AM

    Thank You for your service !  


  • Gork likes this

#8 Gork

Gork

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 03 November 2023 - 03:13 PM

Pat,
Always enjoy seeing your images.
Enjoy the new town and the new rig.
Good Hunting

Thanks, for the comment.  Seems like technology in both hardware and software are moving too fast for me to keep up!  I decided that since I had used this combination once before I'd just stick to something I know and is easy.  I still get to sit indoors with the family watching TV while I control what's going on outside.  The only thing to be sure of is cable management so when I pick a different target I won't inadvertently unplug something!

Regards,

Pat



#9 ArizonaSky

ArizonaSky

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: 19 Oct 2023
  • Loc: Marana, AZ

Posted 04 November 2023 - 11:59 PM

I like your plan, and choices in gear.

 

Welcome to Tucson!



#10 Gork

Gork

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 05 November 2023 - 02:02 AM

I like your plan, and choices in gear.

 

Welcome to Tucson!

Actually been here a few years.  I retired from Steward Observatory Mirror Lab a few years back.  This the story of my latest:  https://www.cloudyni...ighten-up-r3409


  • Bob Campbell likes this

#11 Gary Imm

Gary Imm

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 340
  • Joined: 11 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Onalaska, TX

Posted 05 November 2023 - 02:53 PM

Wonderful to see this update, Pat, and that you are well setup now to capture some excellent images!


  • Bob Campbell likes this

#12 RichInLesta

RichInLesta

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 76
  • Joined: 14 Oct 2016
  • Loc: Worcester, MA

Posted 05 November 2023 - 04:18 PM

Good stuff.  Thanks for the article.  As a member of your "Old Timers Club" my perfect setup would go one step further and let me control the imaging scope while sitting in the warmth of my house enjoying my favorite beverage  smile.gif



#13 RichInLesta

RichInLesta

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 76
  • Joined: 14 Oct 2016
  • Loc: Worcester, MA

Posted 05 November 2023 - 04:22 PM

I've been doing precisely that for the past couple of years and it's actually very easy to do.  I have an iMac that I use regularly on a desk in my kitchen and--using Chrome Remote--link to my Windows laptop which is connected directly to the scope.

 

With this setup, sitting in my warm kitchen I can do literally anything and everything I need to do.  Obviously, you still need to set up all the physical things, but once done I never go back out until the session is over.



#14 Gork

Gork

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 06 November 2023 - 01:11 AM

I've been doing precisely that for the past couple of years and it's actually very easy to do.  I have an iMac that I use regularly on a desk in my kitchen and--using Chrome Remote--link to my Windows laptop which is connected directly to the scope.

 

With this setup, sitting in my warm kitchen I can do literally anything and everything I need to do.  Obviously, you still need to set up all the physical things, but once done I never go back out until the session is over.

That's not lazy, it's smart!



#15 Gork

Gork

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 06 November 2023 - 01:13 AM

Wonderful to see this update, Pat, and that you are well setup now to capture some excellent images!

Thanks, Gary.  We've been going back and forth on Astrobin for a few years now and it looks like that may continue a few more years.



#16 Gork

Gork

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 08 November 2023 - 02:46 AM

Pat,
Always enjoy seeing your images.
Enjoy the new town and the new rig.
Good Hunting



#17 Gork

Gork

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 08 November 2023 - 02:50 AM

Thanks Pat! Always enjoy your articles. Great images!

 

I too pride myself in getting the most out of my rigs at reasonable costs, only difference is that I play in the EAA space versus AP.

 

Short exposures, no post processing.

 

There has been a recent trend to add filter wheels and narrowband multi-wavelength 'live' stacking to some folks EAA workflow and has changed the feel of the pursuit IMO.

 

My setup (for widefield) amounts to an ED doublet (AT80ED), cooled mid range camera (asi294mc-pro), multipass filter (optolog 1.25" L-pro) and lightweight mount (SW az-gti), I'm guessing the whole rig is a bit under $2k.

 

For planetary lucky imaging, I swap with a C6/asi678/uv-ir on the same mount.

 

While not the best out there, if measured in cost/benefit terms I think I have captured > 80% at a cost of < 20% of comparable rigs.

 

Here is a link to some of my latest stuff:

 

https://www.cloudyni...oon/?p=13037657

 

Cheers,

 

 

Bob

Great to hear from you.  As most of us do now we use astrobin.com (search Patrick Stevenson for latest).  Your stuff looks great!


  • Bob Campbell likes this

#18 Gork

Gork

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 08 November 2023 - 02:54 AM

Pat,
Always enjoy seeing your images.
Enjoy the new town and the new rig.
Good Hunting

Howdy!  I actually just moved across town but that means all new setup, observatory, etc.  I'm shooting from my yard now.  Good hearing from you!

Pat

 

Thanks Pat!  Great piece and great photos.  I (we, if I may) profit from you sharing these insights.

Any time I can help you can find me on astrobin.com (search Patrick Stevenson) and you can PM me from there too.

Pat

 

Good stuff.  Thanks for the article.  As a member of your "Old Timers Club" my perfect setup would go one step further and let me control the imaging scope while sitting in the warmth of my house enjoying my favorite beverage  smile.gif

Wouldn't THAT be great.  Unfortunately, when I retired so did my wallet!


  • OneSky likes this

#19 Gork

Gork

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 08 November 2023 - 02:56 AM

I like your plan, and choices in gear.

 

Welcome to Tucson!

Hi Neighbor!  I live on the southeast side of Tucson.  You can find me also on astrobin.com (search Patrick Stevenson) for my latest.  You can PM me from there.  I give you my phone # but CN doesn't let us do that.

Pat



#20 Richard Lynch

Richard Lynch

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 22
  • Joined: 24 Apr 2010
  • Loc: Surrey, UK

Posted 08 November 2023 - 04:32 AM

I love the capability yet simplicity of this rig. I have become an avid collector of Tak and LZOS OG-based refractors, I can’t resist them when they come up on UK and US websites for a good price, especially items no longer in production.

 

I only use two of my scopes anything like regularly, though, an APM/LZOS 105/650 and APM/LZOS 123/738. They are very compact, quite light, hence transportable. The weather and seeing in the UK mean that anything more than a ~5” scope is overkill on most nights.

 

I’ve just turned 59, so not officially an old guy yet, but I have much less enthusiasm than I used to for lugging my 152 triplet out to cool down, just to watch the clouds roll in. I’m starting to think about your ‘Zen’ sort of approach. Not looking forward to selling most of my toys, yet looking forward to the simplicity all the same. It will also make the ‘long haired general’ happy… Good luck with it!

 

Richard



#21 Gork

Gork

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 08 November 2023 - 04:55 PM

I love the capability yet simplicity of this rig. I have become an avid collector of Tak and LZOS OG-based refractors, I can’t resist them when they come up on UK and US websites for a good price, especially items no longer in production.

 

I only use two of my scopes anything like regularly, though, an APM/LZOS 105/650 and APM/LZOS 123/738. They are very compact, quite light, hence transportable. The weather and seeing in the UK mean that anything more than a ~5” scope is overkill on most nights.

 

I’ve just turned 59, so not officially an old guy yet, but I have much less enthusiasm than I used to for lugging my 152 triplet out to cool down, just to watch the clouds roll in. I’m starting to think about your ‘Zen’ sort of approach. Not looking forward to selling most of my toys, yet looking forward to the simplicity all the same. It will also make the ‘long haired general’ happy… Good luck with it!

 

Richard

 After my thirty years in the military I was fortunate to land a position with Steward Observatory Mirror Lab where I worked another ten years polishing 8.4 meter mirrors.  I did not become an amateur astronomer until after I retired.  I found that astronomy had become a major part of my life and wanted to continue.  Although astrophotography occupied most of my time I still continued to build things.  I did a 130mm triplet a few years ago and most recently a 10" astropraph:  https://www.cloudyni...strograph-r3365 My "Steward" days can be read in a few articles I wrote entitled "My Other Telescope is an 8.4 Meter"  This is one of the articles you might find interesting: https://www.cloudyni...polishing-r3193 Nowadays, I just KISS.  Never could afford a TAK but my little ES 102mm Apo does pretty well.  You can see some of my images at astrobin.com (search  Patrick Stevenson).  Do you post images on astrobin.com?  I would enjoy seeing some of your images.

Clear Skies,

Pat



#22 Gork

Gork

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 08 November 2023 - 11:16 PM

    Thank You for your service !  

Thank you for the pension!


  • Bob Campbell and gene 4181 like this

#23 ccoshm

ccoshm

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: 11 Nov 2023
  • Loc: Mexico City, MX; San Antonio TX

Posted 11 November 2023 - 11:34 PM

I love the capability yet simplicity of this rig. I have become an avid collector of Tak and LZOS OG-based refractors, I can’t resist them when they come up on UK and US websites for a good price, especially items no longer in production.

 

I only use two of my scopes anything like regularly, though, an APM/LZOS 105/650 and APM/LZOS 123/738. They are very compact, quite light, hence transportable. The weather and seeing in the UK mean that anything more than a ~5” scope is overkill on most nights.

 

I’ve just turned 59, so not officially an old guy yet, but I have much less enthusiasm than I used to for lugging my 152 triplet out to cool down, just to watch the clouds roll in. I’m starting to think about your ‘Zen’ sort of approach. Not looking forward to selling most of my toys, yet looking forward to the simplicity all the same. It will also make the ‘long haired general’ happy… Good luck with it!

 

Richard

I sympathize with both of you, Richard and Pat. I envy Pat but understand Richard completely. I too pride myself in rare optics and outstanding engineering behind mounts and software. I am a little bit younger, but I feel a lot older. While I wish for an easy set up like yours PAT, I just cannot control my right finger on my mouse when I see something awesome available. Specially refractors. Whether I use them or not so much!!!!

 

I paused the hobby for about 20yrs. and I am finding so much stuff that simplifies things in a way I did not imagine. I am reading up on all the new cameras, plate solving for polar alignment, T point that actually works, etc. I am very anxious to get back in the hobby full pledge. I am trusting that I can find some way to incentivize my $on to help me out with the heavy lifting so that, at least once in a while, I get to play with bigger guns. Hey, he might even get the astronomy bug and I get to save a lot of money.

 

For now though, I am bound to one of the original 80mm TMB (NOT TMB/APMS yet) and my trusty AP400.

 

Pat, your photos are awesome and I admire the ingenuity with which you built your system.

 

Happy hunting!!!


  • Bob Campbell likes this

#24 Ron359

Ron359

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,370
  • Joined: 21 Apr 2008

Posted 13 November 2023 - 12:35 AM

Thanks for a great article, and the previous article on your 'fix of the AVX' DEC stiffness.  My AVX has that problem, and its great to see it can be fixed w/o bearings and an expensive 'hypertune.'  

 

 Re your descriptions of going from 2 min. to 5 min subs in this article, are you auto-guiding or saying that you were able to shoot those frames for 5 min. each w/o PHD and autoguiding?   Keep up the great articles and enjoying retirement in Tucson.  I wish it wasn't >100 F there so much of the year, or I'd might be moving.


  • Bob Campbell likes this

#25 Gork

Gork

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Tucson, Arizona

Posted 14 November 2023 - 08:26 PM

Yes, I am absolutely guiding.  The difference in guiding with the mount "tuned" is that it does not build torque......let me explain before I say something confusing.  When you are guiding, the guide camera sends a tiny (millivolt) signal to the mount if the guide star drifts.  If the mount is stiff that tiny signal may not be enough to actually move the mount but it stores the energy as torque.  The next time the guide camera sends a pulse to the mount it will cause the mount to move as much as it should with one pulse PLUS the torque stored from the last pulse.  By removing the stiffness of the mount it will always move with a guide pulse so you don't get one frame with the stars jumping.  If the mount is stiff you will periodically get a frame with distorted stars.  They may look like a tiny "trail" or they might just look like rice.  Before I tuned my mount I would have to discard about 30% of my frames because of this.  After tuning the mount I lose virtually no frames because of this.  Since the mount moves properly with each pulse I can run very long exposures without the distorted stars.  I have even run as much as ten minute exposures!  I hope this makes sense.

 

As we are prone to say, "Yeah, but it's a DRY heat!"  Sitting outside with my telescope while wearing a short-sleeve tee shirt in November kind of makes up for July and August!


  • Ron359 likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics